Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Nesting Place – Needlebook Finishes!


Amazon Books

Last month, the final Nesting Place online class finished up here on Needle ‘n Thread. It was a great class! My heartfelt thanks goes out to Bobbi Chase, who offered me the use of her design for the class, to Lamora Haider and her crew at Access Commodities, who were so helpful in putting together the fine supplies we used in the Nesting Place project, and to all the participants who made it a successful and fun class!

Now, you just have to let me do the Teacher Brag thing a bit here. If we were in school, I’d be pinning up these class projects on the bulletin board and lining the school hallway with them! Needle ‘n Thread will be my bulletin board and my hallway today!

Though you might be tempted to think that all the needlebooks from the same class project would come out exactly the same, you’ll see here that this isn’t the case at all! Embroidery sometimes reminds me of handwriting – you can always tell that someone else has done this stitching or that stitching. And of course, when it comes to embroidery projects, there’s always that option of personalization! I hope you’ll enjoy seeing these darling needlebooks, the outcome of six grueling weeks of torturous embroidery!!

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

I’m not arranging the pictures in any particular order – just taking you through them with a little commentary. No names or anything – just the pretty results of a lot of stitching effort!

This is the needlebook we made. It is worked on Strathaven natural colored linen, with Fine D’Aubusson wools, Au Ver a Soie silk, and Londonderry Linen threads.

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

The back of the needlebook has a little nest on it, with two freshwater pearls nestled within. The name “The Nesting Place” was contrived by Lamora Haider, after the three of us sent back and forth some lists of semi-possible project names. When Lamora came up with this name, it was perfect indeed, for the needlebook is a nesting place, after all – a perfect place to nest favorite needles.

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

Everyone’s birds came out a little different, each pair developing their own little personalities! I am really proud of the beautiful finishing work I’ve seen so far!

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

Many participants decided to personalize their needlebooks in different ways. I love it when this happens!

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

Some personalized with quotes. I thought this one especially appropriate and perfectly done.

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

And some personalized with…. critters! In fact, critters (especially of the wormy type) were abundant!

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

Some got adventurous with beads and sequins… and worms!

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

Did I mention the worms?

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

Oh, the miles and miles of buttonholing on that needlelace! (For some, I was told it felt that way!) And it came out beautifully!

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

The felt insert in the inside of the book was a perfect place for embellishment.

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

And of course, the signature is a great way to personalize any piece of needlework – initials and dates of all kinds abounded!

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

Little extra touches, like the addition of lace along the inside pocket, dressed up the inside of this needlebook.

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

Many of the participants made use of the Antique Pattern Library and the Patternmaker Charts websites to come up with patterns for monograms and initials.

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

The felt insert was really a favorite place to play with stitches! I like the inside-out buttonhole here!

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

The addition of a little scissor loop was a brilliant idea!

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

We have another worm – I think they might be getting ready to fight for it!

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

Very nice example of personalization – a name tag stitched in underneath the felt. Love this!

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

Did someone mention worms? Here’s a cute little fellow inching along the needle felt.

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

A close up of beads and sequins to make flowery branches…

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

… and another touch of lace, with ribbon to boot.

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

Feather stitch is my favorite way to make wispy twigs and branches, and I think these simple feather stitch accents are perfect.

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

Perfect trellis, perfect shading on the birds – and a really nice finishing job!

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

Another signature near the nest, and a perfectly blocked back…

Nesting Place - Hand Embroidered Needlebook

… and some more pretty initials to mark the needlebook as one’s own.

I thought it was a glorious class – we had great fun in the online classroom, and I enjoyed corresponding with other participants via e-mail. I hope it was as delightful for the participants as it was for me!

This was the last run of the Nesting Place class. It is a limited edition kit, because the fabric for the lining is a vintage fabric that is no longer made. However, there are more classes coming up in the future here on Needle ‘n Thread, if you are keen to participate in an online class. The next one up (due to be announced … well…. pretty soon! still working out some details) is a needle painting class taught by Margaret Cobleigh. After that, I’ll have a short run on a monogramming class, to test the waters to see if folks are interested in monogramming. And there are a couple other projects brewing for later in the year.

The advantage of online classes is that you can work at your own pace, without the expense of travel. You have access to the instructor for personal feedback and help all along the way, to get you to a successful finish. And you still have the opportunity to interact with other participants and get support and encouragement from your fellow stitchers. In this last class, quite a few friendships were formed, which I think is wonderful, considering that many of us are isolated in our stitching endeavors.

If you’re interested in taking an online class on Needle ‘n Thread, just keep an eye out on the website for the announcement for class registration.

Thanks again to all my fellow Nesters out there – and thanks to all of you for putting up with my Brag Wall! I hope you enjoyed seeing the projects!


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(40) Comments

  1. Beautiful Books.

    I think on picture 8 (pretty beaky) it looks more like dad has (ahem) nourishment, but mom has a twig.

  2. They all look great!
    Mine will be finished this weekend.
    Ooh, that neeldelace, it does goe on forever! But makes a very fine finish.

    1. Yes, the needle lace does go on a bit, doesn’t it? But it makes such a nice finished edge! Do post pictures in the classroom when you finish, Winnie! We would love to see yours!

  3. Thank you for sharing the beautiful results of your class. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing each and every one and especially like the way each participant personalized their work.

  4. Eeeep! I’m still slowing working on mine, but the finished ones are fantastic. Mary, I keep meaning to send you an updated picture, but haven’t yet. I’m slowly, slowly working on the backstitch outline. I will finish! It’s just taking longer than I had hoped. I loved this class and have been learning so much!

  5. Congratulations Mary and all the participants.
    I’ve enjoyed seeing all the needle books and the wonderful personal touches.Thank you for sharing this with us Mary.

  6. As a participant in Nesting Place 1.0 I have to say that the needle cases of Nesting Place 2.0 are fantastic! I was so by the book and wanting to follow the directions to a “T”. These are so creative. I am a relatively new embroiderer of 3 years now and I am trying very hard to not always follow the rules and be more creative. I am inspired by how creative these are and I ask myself ” Why didn’t I think of that!”

    1. Trust me, Wendi, with every little new touch from each of the students, I was thinking the same thing!! Well, you could always venture forth into another one, substituting materials. You probably have enough thread to do at least one more… if not more! 🙂

  7. Oh Mary! I LOVE LOVE LOVE all the personalization that went on! What clever, creative students. All the needlebooks look so “happy”! Thank you so much for sharing them all.

    1. They’re fun, aren’t they, Bobbi? Well, you deserve the credit, for the darling design! I think all the different learning elements within the design were perfect for getting the creative juices flowing!

  8. Dear Mary,

    It’s great fun to see everyone’s books all lined up together! I’d just like to add that this was such a well taught class with clear written instructions, videos, and email/forum feedback. I didn’t know, didn’t really think an online class could be as effective as an in-person class, but I’m tempted to say it might even be better than an in-person class when taught like this.

    I thought the lessons rolled out at a great speed, your pdf files were so clearly written and photographed, and the project and materials were really high quality.

    I loved getting to know other classmates. They were fun and inspiring. (Embroiderers are SO nice!)

    It was worth every penny. I’d love to take more classes with you! Thank you for a wonderful experience!


    ps. Thank you for teaching me how to resize my photos and get them downloaded to the site. I even learned some new technology! 🙂

    1. Could not have said it better Sheila. I completely agree.

      How wonderful to see all the birds nesting together. So fun to see the finished results. Thrilling really.

      Thanks again Mary for your wonderful leadership (and Bobbi for your delightful design!)

    2. Thanks, Tania! 🙂 Isn’t it fun to see some of the finishes gathered in one spot? I may be able to add more a bit later, as more trickle in. Here’s hopin’! ~MC

  9. I’m dreadfully behind on this project (still working on it though!) but it’s very nice to see all these finishes! I like having all the pictures to see so I can compare how I’ve done things or thought about doing them with how other people have done them, I can kind of pick and choose among them different ways of tackling things.

    1. That’s ok, Kristel! That’s the great thing about an online class – you can catch up whenever you’re able! And if you have any questions, you can still email me, and the classroom is still available for perusing the questions and answers there, whenever you have time! ~MC

  10. How nice to see the work of the participants! I enjoyed seeing the variety of creativity and personalization and humor. As I looked at the photos, I kept uttering, “Oh, how pretty!” and “Isn’t that clever?” and “Gee, I would like to have done that.” and more. Thank you, Mary and participants, for sharing your work.

    1. Sorry about that, Paula. I don’t recall the exact emails, but I did put all folks who emailed before the registration date on the advanced notice list, so if I heard from you before the class registration, you should have received an advanced notice email. If you didn’t receive it, it may have been filtered into Spam? Other than that, the registration was announced on the site, on a first-come, first-served basis. If I could think of another way to do registration in a manner that’s fair for all, I would… But I haven’t come up with a solution yet. I’m open to suggestions, if anyone has any ideas!


  11. To all the students and their teacher, Mary:

    This morning when I visited this blog I was pleased and astonished at the beautiful embroidery from the participants in the “The Nesting Place” class. Each one is unique and shows the maker’s hand which is what I love and as it should be!

    Thank you for “making it your own”, which was our intention from the beginning. So, often when we devise kits, it is our hope the purchaser of the kit will see it as an opportunity to create a little beauty. For years I have said, “we need beautiful embroidery now, more than ever.” I adore all the little flourishes of personalization, from initials and bits of lace to wee wiggly worms!

    To those of you still at work on the project, please use this post as an inspiration springboard. We look forward to seeing your finished pieces, too.


    Lamora Haidar
    Access Commodities, Inc.

  12. It’s nice to see together the pictures of all the finished needle books. I was very happy to take part in this class, the lessons were so well written and clear, other students were very friendly… and sometimes funny too 😉 I’ve learned so many things!
    I hope to be able to take part in the next classes!
    Thanks Mary, I’m very happy because of you 😉

    1. Hi, Deb – thanks for letting me know! Keep an eye on the website – it will eventually be announced here! I’m a little behind on the Medallion (which I need to finish before I do anything else), so the class is going to be a bit down the road here, but hopefully not too far away! ~MC

  13. And hats off to you Mary. As a newbee to embroidery, I enrolled in this class thinking to learn a bit about stitching. I learned a lot about embroidery, technology, communication, online learning, and well, some life lessons that go with learning new information. I never knew all that I would learn when I signed up for this wonderful class with this talented woman running the show. And, I met some wonderful online classmates. Thank you to Mary and all of our classmates for the words of encouragement, time spendt in sharing information, and the laughter along the way. My heart is joyfully singing this Easter season. That, is a blessing.

    1. Thanks, Kathy – I’m so glad you enjoyed the class, learned a lot, and met lots of new stitchers!! The results of the class as they roll in have been really encouraging to see! Much quicker results than teaching English, that’s for sure! 🙂 ~MC

  14. Thank you for sharing and congratulations to all the participants. The work is wonderful.

    I’d love to participate in an online class. One day, when I finish my thesis …

  15. It was through this project that I initially discovered your site. Unfortunately, by the time I did discover it, all the places in the class were filled. I would really, really, really love to complete this project. Would it be possible to offer the pattern and the list of materials to your subscribers? I believe I read that there were limited suppiles of some of the items used in the kits. If we were able to acquire the list of materials, I am sure we could make substitutions for some of th items. I am definitely willing to pay for the pattern and the list of materials. I would really appreciate it if you would consider the possibility of doing this.

    I absolutely love your site and your newsletter and look forward to it daily.

    1. Hi, Janet – thanks for your comment! Well, since there seems to be a demand for the pattern and instructions, I’m looking into this. Please remember that the design is not my own, so I don’t have free rein with it. But we’ll see what happens!! If anything does, I’ll announce it here on the website! ~MC

  16. I can’t say it better then all of the comments above. This was just a terrific online class. Every detail was so thoroughly thought out right from the start. It was such fun to progress from week to week. Now, looking at the finished needle book, I can hardly believe all of the stitches and techniques that were covered…most painlessly … although those leaves drove me a bit crazy 🙂 The instructional material, Mary’s unfailing willingness to answer our questions, sharing photos, sharing ideas, chatting with classmates…. it was all pure pleasure, and Mary deserves SO much credit! I think it’s a great way to learn.

    1. Thanks, Chris!! Yes, the leaves were a “learning moment” for lots of participants, weren’t they? Glad you enjoyed the class! And thanks very much for joining it! ~MC

  17. It seems as an embroiderer you are a pretty mean teacher as well, Mary.
    These are beautiful, even if they are birds she said only slightly panicking. I think all the students and their teacher of course should be congratulated on their efforts.

    Oh, btw Mary, the trellis stitch didn’t work on my butterfly – or should I say I couldn’t make it work. I think I need more practice.

  18. Well done everyone involved. Thank you for sharing the photos Mary. I think my favourite would be the 3rd photo down – with all the pink stitches on the trellising and the brown & pink striped ribbon is just perfect for finishing the needlebook off.

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